Tiffin, Ohio - March 18, 2010 - There was never a lack of enthusiasm Thursday night as the Seneca County School of Opportunity teamed up with local celebrities and Heidelberg University students to compete in the annual celebrity basketball game.
The celebrity basketball game was organized as a part of the Opportunity Center’s developmental disabilities (DD) awareness month. Activities for the month vary from luncheons to a Palm Sunday dinner hosted by the Seneca County ACT Council.
“The Celebrity basketball game is definitely the highlight,” stated Cynthia Morrison, director of Consumer Advocacy and Support at the Seneca County School of Opportunity. “We just love the partnership with Heidelberg University and the celebrity basketball game raises wonderful awareness of who we are."
Local celebrities included members of local government and law enforcement officials. James Boroff, Mayor of Tiffin, participated in the Celebrity Spirit Squad, leading cheers and engaging the crowd throughout the entire game. Several members of the Heidelberg football team, as well as members of the men’s basketball team also participated in the game.
This year marks the first time that March is simply developmental disabilities awareness month. According to Morrison, the governor officially declared that March is to be DD awareness month in July, as opposed to the MMRD awareness month as it was in previous years.
The Opportunity Center utilized the slogan, “Just like you” for this year’s campaign. “People with disabilities are just like us,” stated Morrison.
Competition stayed close for the majority of the game, but after hitting back to back three-pointers the Gold team extended its lead to 10 points, 28-18 heading into halftime. The Black team made a comeback in the second half, but the Gold team held on for a 62-57 victory.
Over the past three years, the Heidelberg football team has built a strong relationship with the Seneca County School of Opportunity, performing community service at the center whenever possible. The men commonly referee basketball games, help with concession stands and assist with any programs the School of Opportunity may be sponsoring, such as the Special Olympics.
“It’s just a very rewarding experience,” stated football senior, Matt Grieves. “We are given the opportunity to help out and honestly we gain as much from the experience as they do.”
Head football coach, Mike Hallett also finds the experience of working with the School of Opportunity rewarding. “We are already looking forward to next year!” he stated as he was thanking everyone who attended the event.